Monday, January 24

Setting Deadlines: For or Against?

I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person who needs deadlines to get anything done. I am an obsessive planner--and list maker-- so this works out perfectly for both my schooling and my writing. However, I know many other writers who work better without deadlines. They go with the flow and don't force the words out if it's a bad day. Like most things, there are pros and cons to both sides.

Deadline orientated people get things done by the specified date (for the most part). However, they can also stress themselves out meeting that goal, which can spread into their non-writing life and create all sorts of issues. As well, the quality of their writing can take a big hit if all they worry about is meeting their deadline.

On the flip side of this, the "go with the flow" types write when they feel inspired. Their work isn't likely to take a hit from being stressed, because they only work when they feel the need to. However, this can mean they take years to finish one project and by that time the voice at the beginning of the story might not mesh with the voice at the end of the story (among other issues). As well, if they are published, they need to be able to work under deadlines with their publisher.

Do you make deadlines or are you a "go with the flow" type?  What pros and cons can you think of for each?

12 comments:

  1. Self-imposed deadlines don't really work for me. Oh, I can crank out the words when the pressure's on (as in NaNoWriMo) but if I set a goal for myself, it's like pulling teeth to get it done. It took me almost six months to add another 40k to my NaNo novel -- after I'd written 50k of it in ONE month!

    On the flip side, if I don't set any goals at all for myself, I'll slack and get absolutely nothing done. And so I balance. I try to write a little every day, even if it's only a couple hundred words.

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  2. I think a happy medium is best. I like to have a deadline/goal for myself. But I don't beat myself up if I don't make it. I just have to do my best and be smart enough to know what I can reasonably do.

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  3. I agree with Angie. I set goals for myself, but if I know I won't be able to make it, I don't beat myself up over it. I'll just set another goal. Life does in fact get in the way, and even though we really don't want it to, it does. We just have to go with the flow.

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  4. Meika- Hmm, thats interesting! And I agree, balance is key. I set deadlines, but mine are very flexible and reasonable, so if I'm having a bad week (or month!) it's okay. =)

    Angie- Yes! I agree completely. A happy medium is exactly what works best, IMO. =)

    Ashelynn- Yeah, thats always a good thing to learn. Putting more pressure on yourself by being angry does no one any good. I agree! I set goals for myself, but I'm not going to be upset if I dont make those goals-- I accept and move on!

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  5. When I first started my current novel, I had no deadlines because I didn't plan on it working out. But now that it's under my belt and I'm working on the next, and revising it, I am definitely setting personal deadlines. And I think they are proving useful.

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  6. KT- That's good! I dont have any deadlines on my YA for that reason-- its not my main story, so I view it as more of a "write when I want" type of thing. But my romance stories have deadlines.

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  7. I give myself deadlines, but I never meet them. But if they're there, I work faster.

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  8. Medeia- Well thats good at least! Everyone needs to find their own way of doing things =)

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  9. I like deadlines. I work better with them. On the other hand, I let myself change them if I need to. Priorities, right?!

    ~Carla

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  10. Carla- Yeah, thats a good way to look at it. You can have them there but dont be afraid to change them according to whatevers happening that week or day, etc...

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  11. I need deadlines. NEED them. Go with the flow wouldn't work with me...ack! Even if I don't meet my self-imposed deadlines, I get more done that way.

    Nice post! <3

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  12. Di- Thats neato! It seems a lot of people need deadlines, but they are flexible. =)

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